Today my daughter stayed home from school so we can have a mommy/daughter day.  We had breakfast together, we went for a walk, and we watched Disney movies ALL DAY LONG. It was lovely—completely unproductive in all the ways I wanted to be—but lovely.

At lunchtime we watched, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”.


While I don’t love, “Odd Life” it is definitely on my “folding laundry flicks” list.  It has a sweet soundtrack, a precocious and endearing lead actor, an interesting storyline, JENNIFER GARNER, and wicked awesome New England autumn foliage.  So, we cuddled up on the couch with our minestrone and watched Cindy and Jim Green, a couple unable to have children, fumble their way through parenthood with their fresh from the garden son, Timothy.   A son, who sprang from their very careful, explicit list of an ideal child.

As a way to combat the sorrow of realizing they will never have children of their own, the Greens dream together about their ideal child. They write these dreams on slips of paper and plant them in their backyard.  Some of the characteristics include he’d “have a good heart”,” would never give up”,” would be funny”, honest, and artistic and some of the experiences they’d want to have with their son would be “to rock” or for him to  “score the winning goal”.  This reminded me of crafting extensive future husband lists on Lisa Frank stationery and lots of pink hearts in the margins, after signing my “True Love Waits” pledge.

The next morning after a mysterious thunderstorm that only affected their property, they wake to find a soil covered, well-spoken, ten year old boy at their kitchen table.  As the movie progresses, the Greens soon realize that Timothy is the child of their dreams. He literally sprung up from their imaginations.  He meets or exceeds every expectation and because they, in a sense, created him with their guidelines, they knew exactly what to expect from him.

As they realized they could expect Timothy to fulfill their wishes, their certainty as parents grew, they drew so much confidence from what they knew to be true of Timothy.  Until he deviated from the list and caused them to doubt.  This scene caught my attention today and revealed how invested the Greens became in their dream child list.


When Timothy fulfilled their wish in an unconventional way,  this usually loving, supportive couple began to attack each other and question if their even capable of being good parents.  There was no room for doubt in the Greens relationship with Timothy.

While this may be a bit of a stretch in the analogy, I found their approach to parenting this odd child to be very contractual over covenantal.  Contractual relationships thrive on clear, explicit expectations; convental relationships release expectations so that you can grab hold of the adventure of doing life together. It’s safe to ask hard questions and doubt in covenantal relationships because your since of worth and your certainty doesn’t rely on anything by the love demonstrated by the other person.  For a brief moment, the Greens lost faith over their ability to stay the course in this extraordinary relationship with Timothy, even though Timothy proved to be a boy to loves easily and completely.

What I found interesting is Timothy, was never shaken.  He had no expectations on the Greens, he had no list, or expressed hopes other than to just love and be loved.

I believe this is the type of relationship Jesus wants with us, one that releases our need to “get it right” or be “biblical”, so that we can to get swept up in the adventure that is doing life with Lover of our Souls.  As we learned yesterday,  getting our sense of worth from anything but Jesus is idol worship so today and tomorrow  we’re going to rethink what does it mean to be a tribe of woman who put our faith in Jesus.  Does it mean having the right beliefs and Christian-ese answers, or does it mean being a woman committed to journey of knowing him, even if our assumptions are questioned and our expectations are left unmet?

Tomorrow we’re going to dive into the Campfire Conversation:

Girlfriend, come and ask the hard questions.

Putting away my green socks and going to bed,